Our department is committed to fostering critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills in an inclusive and collaborative environment that encourages creative exploration and discovery. Students learn in the classroom and through hands-on research experiences, and they are tasked with sharing their knowledge with others at the University and beyond. Students have the option to declare a Psychology degree (B.A. or B.S. tracks) or a Neuroscience degree (B.S.).

Areas of Expertise

(Affective) learning & memory

We study the basic processes that enable us to learn about our environment and to learn from our mistakes, with implications for everything from student performance to affective disorders.

Cognitive & socioemotional development

We seek to understand what knowledge structures are innate, how learned knowledge is acquired over a lifetime, and how the accumulation of knowledge is affected by developmental disorders, neurological disorders, and early-life stress or exposures to environmental toxicants.

Virtue & morality

We examine when and why individuals cooperate with or trust one another and investigate how we come to hold moral beliefs and understand social norms. We aim to understand how social change happens, and to lever this knowledge to address real-world problems including climate change.

Our faculty study each of these areas from multiple perspectives: from animal models and computational models, to systems and cognitive neuroscience, to behavioral and psychophysiological measurements from individuals or groups. This work involves studying basic processes with translational impact—including affective disorders, such as anxiety and depression; developmental disorders; and ethics and law.

Interdisciplinary Connections

Across MCAS

  • We are delighted to announce that Kengthsagn Louis and Diane-Jo Bart-Plange will be joining our faculty in summer 2024, in joint positions with the African and African Diaspora Studies program.

  • Our faculty teach partnered Core courses and collaborate with faculty in numerous MCAS departments, including Biology, Computer Science, English, Philosophy, and Theology.

Across Other BC Schools

Our faculty collaborate with:

  • Those in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development as part of the BC Consortium for Translational Research on Learning and Memory

  • Those in the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work through the BC Aging Research Group

  • Law School Professor Sharon Beckman, who directs the BC Innocence Program

News & Notes

Our Faculty

The Undergraduate Experience

Undergraduates are integrated into our department through coursework, participation in independent research and honors theses, inclusion in departmental colloquia and workshops, and the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference. They become critical thinkers as they reflect on topics at the core of the human experience: how we learn through experiences; how brain cells give rise to thought; how context influences everything; and which aspects of human behavior are easily controlled and which proceed without conscious awareness.

Upcoming Events

The Graduate Experience

Each year the department welcomes into our Ph.D. program a select group of outstanding students. Focusing on original research, this program is aimed at students who intend to become research psychologists and neuroscientists, participating in the search for knowledge about the human mind and brain. Working in close collaboration with a primary and secondary faculty mentor, students design studies, publish papers, apply for grants, and attend professional conferences. Our program is designed to help you acquire the professional skills and scientific knowledge needed to pursue your intellectual interests and to become our fields' leaders.

Graduate Student Placements

California State Monterey Bay

Assistant Professor

University of Wisconsin

Associate Professor

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Behavioral Scientist/Epidemiologist

Innerscope Research

Scientific Project Manager

MPR Associates

Senior Research Associate

Zeldis Research Associates

Project Director

Columbia University


Harvard University


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Assistant Professor


The Power of Positive Peer Pressure

Professor Liane Young, whose research has shed light on moral judgment and decision-making, has been awarded a $2.8-million grant from The John Templeton Foundation to join with fellow Boston College researchers to study how social norms influence virtue.

Read More on BC News